World Coins

Canada honors wreck of SS Edmund Fitzgerald with coin

Canada’s third and final coin in the Lost Ships in Canadian Waters series honors a modern ship that wrecked in Lake Superior 40 years ago.

The Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coin shows the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, a Great Lakes freighter that sank in a storm on Nov. 10, 1975. The ship was the largest on the Great Lakes when it was launched in 1958, and became the largest to sink there. 

The wreck and loss of 29 lives was later marked in song by Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. 

The reverse design by Canadian artist John Horton uses full color over engraving to recreate the marine conditions of that fateful evening in 1975 as S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald struggled in a fearsome winter storm. 

In the ship’s final hour at sea, hurricane-force winds drove the turbulent waters of Lake Superior into a frenzy, as great waves crashed against the Fitzgerald’s red and white bow and swept across the deck of the cargo-laden freighter. Still, the brave crewmembers pushed on as the snow squall raged, the ship’s lights faintly glowing in the cold, dark night. 

Framing this dramatic scene is the engraved outline of the Canadian shoreline of southeastern Lake Superior, wheret was hoped the Canadian highlands would provide some protection from the worst winds of the storm; instead, those very waters became the final resting place for the legendary vessel and its entire crew. 

The words S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD and the outline of the ship’s anchor are engraved along the edge of the coin.

Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.

The coin weighs 31.39 grams and measures 38 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 7,000 pieces and retails for $109.95 Canadian. 

U.S.-based distributor Talisman Coins offers the coin at a fixed price in U.S. dollars, at $79.95 each. 

To order, visit the Talisman Coins website

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